JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Follicular and epidermal alterations in patients treated with ZD1839 (Iressa), an inhibitor of the epidermal growth factor receptor.

We report the cutaneous side-effects of ZD1839 (Iressa), a new anticancer agent that acts by inhibiting epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor signal transduction. Three patients receiving ZD1839 developed an eruption consisting of follicular papules and pustules in an acneiform distribution as well as diffuse fine scaling of the skin. Additionally, hair growth abnormalities were noted in two patients. Histologically, a superficial purulent folliculitis and disordered differentiation with focal parakeratosis were seen. The follicular eruption appeared to respond favourably to treatment with tretinoin cream and minocycline. The cutaneous adverse effects of ZD1839 are similar to those of other EGF receptor-targeted agents and result from direct interference with the functions of EGF receptor signalling in the skin.

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